Video: trucks look like electric trains

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I heard talks on this technology at either SAE or TRB meetings at least 3 or 4 years ago. I seem to remember someone proposing a demonstration project in the US for use by drayage trucks hauling containers from the ports of LA/Long Beach to warehouses, thus allowing the trucks to pass through central LA without belching out nasty diesel fumes. I don't know whether anything actually got built.

The technology is from Siemens, called "eHighway." It's essentially the love child between a trackless trolley and an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer.

eHighway | Road | Siemens Mobility Global
eHighway – Solutions for electrified road freight transport | Press | Company | Siemens

Oh, and maybe the Indians will deploy this technology before we do here in the States:
Electric vehicles: India could soon get its first electric highway, says Gadkari: How e-highway on Delhi-Jaipur stretch will work | Business News (timesnownews.com)

I would think that my former colleagues at EPA would have some interest in this technology. Not sure what they could do to get one up and running, but who knows what kind of funding they've been getting from the new Administration and Congress.
 

Qapla

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One of the issues I see that the US might have with this idea is that too many people (truckers) would not want to stay in the catenary "truck lane" and would want the freedom to pass others even if they don't need to - and keeping cars from riding in the truck lane using the space the trucks need.
 
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One of the issues I see that the US might have with this idea is that too many people (truckers) would not want to stay in the catenary "truck lane" and would want the freedom to pass others even if they don't need to - and keeping cars from riding in the truck lane using the space the trucks need.
Most truck drivers aren't the kind of wild, free spirits that our popular culture seems to make them. They're pretty heavily regulated, both by the government (just ask any trucker about "CSA") and by their own employers. Most trucks now have GPS that transmits directly to some sort of corporate control center, and the drivers that drive too fast get at least a talking to. And "too fast" can be less than the speed limit. I once drove a stretch of I-10 in west Texas that had an 80 mph speed limit, and I was amazed that most of the trucks go considerably below that speed. From the point of view of management, the small time saving from driving 80 as opposed to 70 or 65 isn't worth the difference in fuel consumption. (Fuel is one of the major expenses of operating a truck, with labor being the other, which the the highest expense depends on the price of diesel fuel.)

In other words, if the state says the only way you'll run trucks through town is on an eHighway, then your boss and the FMCSA will lay down the law: You'll be driving under catenary, and you'll do so safely, although, I believe the eHighway trucks are either hybrids with a ICE genset or batteries to allow for at least short operation off the catenary.
 

joelkfla

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One of the issues I see that the US might have with this idea is that too many people (truckers) would not want to stay in the catenary "truck lane" and would want the freedom to pass others even if they don't need to - and keeping cars from riding in the truck lane using the space the trucks need.
The video says the pantograph automatically drops when the turn signal is engaged, and the truck runs on batteries until it returns to the lane under overhead.
 
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Meh 😒

There a lot of technology that may show up in new equipment. This is a very limited niche application, and is unlikely to be the technology that is used or changes the trucking industry.

Also these E-Truck that are entering service now have a range of 250 miles. I am ok with stopping and use the bathroom every 4 hours.
 

JontyMort

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Most truck drivers aren't the kind of wild, free spirits that our popular culture seems to make them...
I once drove a stretch of I-10 in west Texas that had an 80 mph speed limit, and I was amazed that most of the trucks go considerably below that speed.
That prompts me to ask a question about speed limits for trucks in the US. On the open road, are they legally restricted to a speed less than that which applies to cars? In Europe, they usually (possibly always) are. Taking the UK as an example, anything over 7.5 tons has a limit that is 10 mph lower than cars - 60 mph on divided highways and 50 mph on two-lane roads (70/60 for cars).
Many of them have speed limiters at just above the highest limit - so it’s always instructive following one downhill and watching the brake lights as the limiter cuts in and out.
 

joelkfla

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That prompts me to ask a question about speed limits for trucks in the US. On the open road, are they legally restricted to a speed less than that which applies to cars? In Europe, they usually (possibly always) are. Taking the UK as an example, anything over 7.5 tons has a limit that is 10 mph lower than cars - 60 mph on divided highways and 50 mph on two-lane roads (70/60 for cars).
Many of them have speed limiters at just above the highest limit - so it’s always instructive following one downhill and watching the brake lights as the limiter cuts in and out.
Speed limits are set by the state, so it varies. I don't recall seeing any reduced speed limits for trucks in FL, but I have seen them in the Northeastern states.
 
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Most states don’t have split speed limited for trucks. Most trucking companies have the truck’s computer restricted the top speed of the trucks. This in part is a insurance requirement. So I can not apply fuel when I am at 65 mph. I can coast faster down a hill, but that physical weight that increase the speed not the engine. Some companies have variable top speed based on fuel miles per gallon. Other set the top speed higher or lower.

Add bonus is that when I am using the engine brake (jake) the truck will indicated that I am applying my brakes by light up the brake lights, even when I am just maintaining the downward speed of my truck, and not slowing down.
 

Qapla

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Florida used to have separate speed limits on some roads for trucks. In 1974, when the speed limit was mandated to 55mph for all states there was no longer a need to have lower speeds for trucks. In 1995, when the Federal Mandate of 55 mph was removed and states were once again allowed to set max speeds Florida raised the speed on open roads to 65 and Interstate to 70 but did not impose a reduced speed for trucks. It is common for semi trucks to travel at 75 mph on the Interstate in Florida without getting ticketed.
 
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Florida used to have separate speed limits on some roads for trucks. In 1974, when the speed limit was mandated to 55mph for all states there was no longer a need to have lower speeds for trucks. In 1995, when the Federal Mandate of 55 mph was removed and states were once again allowed to set max speeds Florida raised the speed on open roads to 65 and Interstate to 70 but did not impose a reduced speed for trucks. It is common for semi trucks to travel at 75 mph on the Interstate in Florida without getting ticketed.
Something similar happened in Massachusetts where some expressways originally had speed limits of 65 trucks 55. After the national 55 mph speed limit was removed, they eventually raised some roads to 65 for everyone. Only place in New England with limits > 65 is Maine where I-95 has limits of 70 most parts and 75 North of Old Town, for all vehicles.
 
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There's lower truck limits throughout the Midwest (I'm trying to remember where, but I've seen them recently in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, can't remember if Michigan did as well) on some interstates.
 
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